Tag Archives: Gaming

DropZone Commander – UCM Bear APC’s


Well today we have for you the UCM Bear APC.

I really like the clean lines and the small turret mounted weapons on the top for infantry support. I think I would paint the dome on the front as either an armoured drivers window or some sort of sensor. Until we have the rules for them it’s hard to tell what is best, but I think that would add some character. Looking at the front wheels it seems that the front pair turn together as the tyres are smaller than what must be the rear drive wheels. Nice attention to detail!
🙂

UCM Bear APC's
UCM Bear APC’s

Carabus

@carabus03

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Christmas is Almost Here


As Christmas rears its head and we move on towards the festive season I thought it was high-time to restore everyone’s faith in humanity by posting some of the things that has made online gaming so very “entertaining.”

I’m sure we are all aware of just how amazing some of the people who frequent the Internet are but these two articles just go to show amazing examples of humanity in all of its glory. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

7 Douche-bags in gaming

7 more douche-bags

The Hidden Costs of Gaming


With all the brouhaha going on at the moment in our beloved hobby I thought this was probably a timely post to write. Other than that, the picture heading the post looks like it would be an awesome “underground volcano lair” despite the fact there is no ground, nor volcano. Hollow out that bad boy for a Bond villain lair the likes of which has never been seen. Just make sure not to fill it with hot chicks of dubious loyalty!

Anyways, on to the meat and potatoes of today’s topic. As gamers we are aware that our hobby isn’t necessarily cheap, especially when you factor in the typical addict type behaviour of gamers. I still loathe people’s arguments that hobby Y is more expensive than gaming so I should be more than happy to pay current prices. We call that kind of thinking a fallacy!

However, while we often lament the price we pay for whatever brand of army men we are purchasing what often gets swept under the carpet is the cost of the various tools and paints that are needed to realise the potential each model has. While I’ve been in the hobby long enough to know that most armies never get beyond the grey plastic stage, despite our best efforts, I know that every single gamer more than likely has a basic set of tools and some paints. Just as different gaming companies gouge our wallets to a varying degree and for varying quality of goods (I’m glaring at you Failcast!) so too does this carry over into the tools we use for painting.

Over my roughly 20 years in the hobby I’ve used a number of different manufacturers. I started off with Games Workshop’s own brand, luckily for me I’ve changed that and use Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes and a combination of Privateer Press’ P3 paints and Vallejo Model Colour. GW paints cost £2.25 a pot while I can get the Vallejo ones in their handy dropper bottle for £1.40. My brushes cost around £7 each but then I only have 3 of them a 1, 0 and 00, they are much higher quality than the GW offerings and will last far longer if looked after properly.

For gaming with either plastic or metal you are also going to need things like clippers, a knife and a set of files. It also helps to have some greenstuff and sculpting tools to fill gaps in metal models. Then there are basing materials to consider too. All of this is quite a lot of stuff and while you do not NEED all of this when first starting you’re going to at least want clippers, some glue and a hobby knife to be able to assemble the stuff you buy to use on the table.

Once you get on the tabletop you’re also going to want terrain. Do you play over boards, whether modular or not? Do you just use a gaming mat, are you happy with just an old tablecloth and a few piles of books? Generally I have found that terrain is pretty fairly priced and there is a lot of choice out there to furnish your battlefield with depending on your game of choice. For current 6 Inch Move flavour of the month, 40k, you can get some half decent bargains like this which I consider to be pretty good value.

My point is that when you think about the startup costs of gaming, you have your starter set or rule book and then the models you are going to use but there is so much that can sneak up on you too. Extra dice, tape measures etc… etc… It’s not long before you’re a true hobbyist that has a huge haul of stuff cluttering up a bedroom or a front room.

While I think we are quite good at making rational comments about how much it costs for newcomers to join our hobby with the increasing prices of miniatures, what we should not forget is just how much the true cost is even higher! We might take for granted that we have every pot of paint we are likely to ever need but newcomers will not be so lucky. Depending on what brand people choose to go for (and in GWs case they are hoping you go for theirs which are, unsurprisingly, overpriced) you can make some decent savings but you need to know what you are getting into. Personally I would not recommend Model Colour as a range to the beginning painter but in the long run it is a much cheaper and better quality paint to use (and it smells awesome too!).

While nice terrain is not a necessity the fact it is plastered across all the pictures you see of painted models it does seem to indicate some level of obligation that you have to emulate those kinds of battlefields. I know a lot of people like to make their own and there are some really talented people out there but all this extra work means less time for actually painting the army men you started out with.

If I could offer one recommendation to people starting out, what would it be? Well, considering the situation I am in I’d say get your stuff painted and worry about the rest later. I procrastinate as I have so much to do (and I just love assembling stuff too) but I am really starting to feel the shame of not having a painted army. I’m working on my problems to try to correct that, so I’d encourage those on their first foray into gaming to really push forward with getting their purchases painted. You’ll thank me in the long run.

Wargaming and the Law of Averages – Never the Twain Shall Meet


The United Kingdom, over which the 6 Inch Move floating citadel err… floats… had another public holiday yesterday. So, once again, following the pattern that has been established for this year we abandoned wives, mothers, girlfriends etc… and met together to push our collections of over-priced metal and plastic army men across make-believe battlefields. And it was GOOD!

The day saw a lot of interesting armies, from my slightly reworked Ogre Kingdoms and Gribblin’s Zombiedragon led Vampire counts, to Servitob using a proper almost tournament level Space Marine list. Carabus fielding 1500pts of Grey Knights (that’s a box of five Terminators to you and me) and Gribblin with an experimental Eldar army list that was so experimental it seemed to experience quantum effects similar to chucking a moggy into a box.

However, my purpose today (I assume you read the title?) is not to regale you all with massively detailed battle reports of the day’s frivolities (somehow I managed to table the Vampires bottom of turn 6) but really to explore a great phenomenon that I think pretty much all gamers are privy too.

At the heart of wargaming is a heck of a lot of maths. No matter whether you are using the traditional dice based systems or some of those new-fangled decks of cards you are normally trying to achieve a number in order to perform an action or do some damage. Therefore the laws of probability are something that are familiar to all gamers. Most of you will probably be aware of the concept of Theoryhammer, the pure maths of average probability that used to work out what units are capable of doing. It is this Theoryhammer that means you are (supposedly) better off taking Striking Scorpions against Space Marines rather than Banshees as the S4 offsets the power weapons of the Banshees. Knowing that the average result of a single die is 3.5 meaning 2D6 is a 7 is of use when calculating if you want to do something. You can use it to work out how many wounds you are likely to do against a certain unit using one of your own. Theoryhammer shows that Wyches are best taken in units of 6-8, should be enough to do some casualties and stay in combat during your opponents turn, allowing you to finish them off and avoid getting shot up (Incidentally my Wyches are finding it hard to even get to combat at the moment).

However, there is one problem with Theoryhammer in general and that is that the law of averages does not exist in wargaming. Now, it could be argued that this is just a product of perspective, in that you are far more likely to remember poor dice than when things go more normally, but I don’t think this is the case. For instance, more often than not I will fail leadership tests, this is a disease I appear to have caught from Gribblin who has been plagued with the same thing for years, hence why he plays Undead and Lizardmen, his Wood Elves are massively prone to this, especially Treemen. I have consistently rolled above 10 for leadership tests and then rerolled the same or higher when applicable. Even when I am using armies with above average Leadership Is struggle to pass the test, in the last 40k game I played my Mandrakes failed their Ld8 panic test from shooting casualties, and then failed to rally in the next turn. We already established that the average score of two dice rolled together is 7 so I should be passing these more often than not.

Another awesome example of this playing out was in that same game. I have 14 Lance weapons in my current Dark Eldar list, not a lot by many standards but certainly enough to not struggle against a mechanised army, which is pretty much what 40k is these days. I faced off against Servitob who is always a great opponent and is using a much tougher version of Space Marines now with his Salamanders. He took a Land Raider and three Razorbacks, I have three Ravagers, 3 Raiders and a unit of 6 Reaver Jetbikes with 2 Blasters in them, plenty enough to dent that Land Raider. However, that Land Raider was still rolling around virtually unharmed in turn 5, even after I had (perhaps unwisely) spent most of my heavy shooting trying to pop it, the number of 1s I rolled on the Vehicle Damage Chart after penetrating the armour was ridiculous and had a profound effect on the game. With my flimsy armour there is no way I can let a tank like that have free rein through my troops. Half the shots missed and when I did hit and penetrate all I could do was shake it multiple times but then the Power of the Machine Spirit still allows it to fire (how I hate Space Marines and their “we can get around the rules” abilities).

Ok, now you can just roll that to bad luck which is of course really just another way of saying you cannot count on the law of averages. While Theoryhammer can be all well and good, when you roll those dice you have just as much chance of getting that annoying 1 than the exhilaration of a 6. While we like to factor in what things should do there are those times when the dice do seem to abandon you and you are fighting an uphill battle regardless of whether you have actually played well.

The second solo battle where I’ve played with my Dark Eldar has certainly been another schooling, we didn’t have any LOS blocking terrain which wasn’t ideal as pretty much all my stuff could be shot, we did have enough terrain overall though. I think I need to learn to be more patient with my Commoragh Elite. Sure they die to a stiff breeze but I think I am starting to understand the way to play them, sure they are horrifically offensive in terms of their power output but you need to tread softly and cautiously before committing them. You really do get punished hard when things go wrong or when things are used badly.

So then Interwebs, are there any particular instance where you seem to be able to defy the laws of probability? Or accounts of universe ending bad luck you’d like to share?

 

By the way, the Land Raider did die in the end… to my Archon with a well placed Haywire grenade! 150pts of HQ did over two turns what 700pts of Lances could not do over five turns!

The Internet – Good or Bad for Gaming?


In the constant drive to deliver to you, dear Internet reader, quality, thought-provoking content that touches you on a deep spiritual level we bring you today’s topic. A drive that you may, or may not, agree on us reaching. I just like to try to write down my thoughts using an expansive vocabulary in order to portray myself as an intellectual, we all know I’m not kidding anybody…

The Internet is right up there as one of the potential greatest inventions of the 20th century, I remember first hearing about it on the now defunct Tomorrows World program where it was referred to as the Information Super Highway and would transform the way in which we lived. They talked about virtual communities living out there in cyberspace and traditional boundaries dropping off as we increased the reach of our social interactions.

I don’t think back then that anyone really grasped the true extent that the Internet would seep into the lives of our fellow Earthicans, rending asunder boundaries drawn on maps and opening us up to people and places we’d never been before. It also eventually provided us with categorical and unequivocable evidence that Trolls do not just live under bridges.

When I first started gaming in the Nineties the extent of the community and the discussions I had were restricted to either friends or the local gaming store when I popped in and talked to staff. Now, I didn’t grow up with a huge number of friends interested in the same hobby as me so I also took a rather unique avenue of just drifting through on my own. I didn’t go into the local GW to play, just to pick up the latest releases. By the mid Nineties dial-up was becoming more prevalent and eventually my father’s PC was hooked up and I got my first taste of Internetdom. This was all related much more to PC gaming than wargaming though.

One Christmas I then got a home DSL kit allowing me to no longer have to hog the phone for 2 hours at a time before BT disconnected the modem and I’d have to redial. This then brought about speedy access to all kinds of wonders and the Internet, for me at least, truly came alive and not just because you had free access to women of loose morals flashing their jubblies around.

These days the Internet is bursting with communities and forums for pretty much anything and everything you can think of but what has this done to our particular hobby? And is that a good or a bad thing?

Firstly, let’s start off with the glass half full and talk about the positive. The resources available to players is massive, there are forums for games and armies, a wealth of information on how to go about painting our toy soldiers or even converting them into something completely different. The inspiration available to be able to view the skills of so many different people really helps you find your place, either as a master artist or realising that even if you thought you were bad, that kid selling “pro-painted” on eBay is way worse than you.

The Internet also allows the gamer to become aware of stuff that he or she may not otherwise come to recognise. I found Warmachine through the Internet as before that I’d been a GW purist as that was all I really knew about due to their high street presence. What the Internet has helped to do is to open up competition as it is now a lot easier to research a game rather than the opinion of a store owner or splashing out on the rulebook and some models in the hope you’ll enjoy it.

If you need tips on an army then you can find other players who will help you out, either through unit selection or ways in which to improve yourself as a player. You can read battle reports, check out paint jobs, or even avail yourself of some pretty good deals on second-hand models or discounted brand new stuff. The Internet has broadened gaming, you are aware of new releases well in advance and can preview stuff you might like to grab in the future without having to wait for a magazine or even for it to arrive in stores. I don’t think there is anything that has been as transformative to many people’s hobbies, even outside of gaming, as the Internet has been. It is in virtually every home, at least in the western world and that kind of prevalence has been a boon for the diversity of information and avenues of discovery that we as consumers have access too.

Unfortunately, the Internet is not always a shining beacon of enlightenment. While we’d like to think that people united by a hobby could get on with one another there are the odd few people who will criticise and denounce people. If you take a sub-par choice for an army then you must be a n00b who clearly has no idea to play. Then there are also the vociferous remarks negatively viewing some companies (most notably the Sherriff et al). People can be overly critical to the point of being rude.

We can also look at the massive discounting of products online stealing market share from bricks and mortar stores that simply cannot compete against their virtual counterparts, this inevitably leads to the decline of local communities as the traditional congregating ground of the gamer disintegrates either through no-one visiting the store to get their goodies or through the store having to shut up shop. Does the fact that we are only a forum thread away from finding out the most powerful army lists actually prove detrimental to the game? There are many that will just take the latest web list and run that rather than try things out for themselves, after all the only point of gaming is to win right?

A lot of the forums have a tournament minded mentality too, therefore a lot of what you find is super-competitive style armies that are annoying to those of us wanting a chilled out game with friends. Buying your first army for a game can be a process of finding that uber-list point and click army and buying it rather than what I did when I started of buying what I liked and trying things out and in many cases, trying to make stuff work because I didn’t have anything else.

I cannot think of anything else in recent history that has proven as transformative to the hobby as the Internet, but then the world wide web has changed the face of how the world communicates and interacts anyway, we’ve definitely been left behind the curve here, in fact I’d probably say we are right up there riding the wave as it were. I have enjoyed being exposed to new things rather than being a GW purist and believe the market is blossoming, although perhaps a little too much.

I’m not going to declare an undying love for the transformation that the Internet has made to our hobby, but then I am not going to decry it either, I can see both good and bad here. Although there is certainly one thing that I think we can all take from this;

Spontaneous Gaming Is Spontaneous


Not everyone we hang around with is a stereotypical neckbearded dungeons and dragons player. Occasionally our friends go out of the house and have exciting adventures in what they call ‘The Real World ™’. Generally we just sit around, rolling dice awaiting their return, hoping they bring us more DPZ. Well anyway, one of our friends stayed out long enough to get married, so we descended from the floating citadel to attend the wedding. Congratulations to the happy couple! I could go on to write about the dress, the decorations, the vows, the ceremony, the cake, but seeing as there were no Space Marines, Skaven or Warcasters in attendance it is unlikely to be of interest to our regular reading googlebots. But wouldn’t it be awesome if there were?

‘Brother Dante, do you take Brother Mephiston to be your lawfully wedded civil partner?’
‘Only if he doesn’t make me take off my gimp mask.’
‘Where is the best man, Brother Calgar?’
‘He said he found some tyranids that needed power fisting.’
‘Nevermind, we’re so gorgeous, we should form a boyband.’
‘TakeBloodThatBoyAngelZone.’
‘Dreamy!’
‘Excuse me Sirs, there’s a rat in the kitchen who says he wants some head.’
‘Aha, that’ll be chief bridesmaid Warlord Queek Headtaker, do send him in.’

At the real wedding we were hanging around in 6InchMove stylee, when we had the great idea to do some gaming. Obviously not at the wedding, because that would be just plain rude. Things were arranged and two hours later wives were suitably distracted and everyone was ready. In our haste however, we hadn’t decided what to play. People had a few figures here and there, except ZombiePirate, built to party he had brought everything. It took ages to decide what to play, eventually we settled on nBreaker and myself playing Firestorm Armada while ZombiePirate and Carabus went to the fish and chip shop in memory of the Aquans.

In summary, if you are going to do spontaneous gaming, be firm and decide what you are going to play beforehand. The outcome by the way – The Terrans beat the Sorylians, we refired our desire to get serious about War Of The Ring and I sat in my dinner. Awesome.

Conventions in Gaming – Personal Injury


I’ll bet you’re glad I used this picture to illustrate today’s post rather than some horrible, grotesque mutilation, like Justin Bieber!

One of the major parts of our hobby is that the models we use require assembly, this is of course providing you are not using a whole load of Green Army Men to represent your horde of Skaven or Chapter of Elite Cheese Marines. The plastic we use need to be cut off sprues and have mould lines cleaned up, metal models also require those pesky mould lines to be removed and generally come with a lot more flash than plastic. I have no doubt that all of us have tales of woe when certain models have been horiffically miscast, metal models tend to have some sharp edges every now and again too. We use clippers to remove parts from sprues and knives to clean parts and score edges to better accept glue. We use pin vices to drill components for pinning and we use various oddly shaped tools when working with green stuff to fill gaps sculpt parts and this doesn’t even bring into account the ubiquitous superglue that is applied liberally to very small parts in the hope that, this time, when we sit there holding things together for an hour we haven’t overspilled some to our finger and glued those to the model rather than said small part.

So, it is with this in mind that I thought I’d take a nice look at one of the aspects of our hobby that is ever-present and yet is not often thought about. The main reason that this came up is that last night I was trying to open one of the Sherrif’s finest modular movement tray packs. They are comprised of a plastic casing that is suspiciously resistant to scissors so I resorted to my knife, you will notice that my tool of choice is now a lot sharper and a lot more dangerous, hence me sitting here this morning with a stab wound on the tip of my middle finger on my left hand. It was definitely one of those “Oh $%^£” moments as the blade cleaved through the plastic and slipped into something that offered a lot less resistance, the pale flesh of my pinky in this case. Cue that moment of realising you’ve just pushed a blade half an inch into your finger and staring at it before the blood starts pumping out of it in a never-ending flood. Grab first aid kit, apply plaster, job done, carry on carving up movement trays.

With the veritable butcher’s shop of tools and the average gamer’s disposal I am sure my tale of harrowing personal injury is not unfamiliar to the majority of us. Fingers are normally the first thing to get sliced apart but no less common are tales of model components being attached to various body parts, it’s a dangerous hobby, especially if you choose a Chaos army due to all those spikes! It’s also a good job that I wear glasses as the amount of time a particularly stubborn metal component has decided to launch itself skyward on the application of clippers is astronomical.

In honour of the scars that have been earned over long years of gaming I thought I would therefore present a 6 Inch Move Top Tips for Avoiding Personal Injury. Please feel free to ignore as many of these as seem fit;

  1. Always cut away from yourself! – As tempting as it is to pull that knife towards your torso to apply extra force, performing an impromptu appendectomy on yourself won’t go down well with your wife, mother, significant other. We do the research so you don’t have to.
  2. Apply protective covers to your tools when not in use – most of what we use is sharp, toxic or both! If you have a work area (a.k.a. dining room table) like I have, make sure everything is made safe to avoid the wrath of errant wives, cats etc… that might accidentally end up as mangled as we are.
  3. Tidy things away. Especially if you have kids. Miniatures are not toys (despite what Mrs ZombiePirate says) and grasping fingers on little hands WILL find the most dangerous of your tools to play with, so lock things away if you have to. Safety first!
  4. Glue will glue things – it may seem obvious but superglue is very sticky and will literally stick anything to anything, so use it sparingly, a trip to A&E is not fun, the hot nurse will not be impressed with that stealth suit glued to your crotch!
  5. Open a window – this isn’t just the province of Servitob’s favourite sweaty neckbeards sitting in the dungeon. Some glues have some pretty potent fumes, so spare yourself the literal headache and get some ventilation going on.
  6. Put something on the table/desk – sharp knives will carve through quite a lot of stuff, especially your wife’s lovely mahogany dining table. Spare yourself some nights in the doghouse by using appropriate coverings/mats.
  7. Do not apply too much pressure – knives and pin vices will very easily puncture skin, I say this from harsh experience. Show patience when working with these tools, things may go slower but you suffer from far less of a risk from shoving something through a digit

Hopefully these few tips are fairly obvious of themselves but it is very easy to just ignore your own personal safety and mangle a finger.

Safe modelling!